“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” – John 14:13-14
Jesus was telling this to His disciples the evening before His crucifixion and He is also telling us today that He will do whatever we ask in His name, so that He the Son may bring glory to the Father.
As Christ spoke that evening to His personally chosen representatives, Jesus was imparting full authority to them by giving them the power to ask in His name. At that time, to speak in the name of a person meant to fully represent them in all ways.
Jesus was promising His disciples that while they were fulfilling their mission; He would do anything they asked Him to do while asking with the authority of His name. This was a blessing He personally imparted to them specifically. He was handing His disciples a great privilege as well as a tremendous responsibility.
You may ask me for anything in my name is a great promise. We need however to read this verse carefully and analyze the word “anything” within the context of Scripture. A new Christian or a shallow Christian may look at this promise with an incorrect motive because they have not studied the Bible thoroughly. An example in further searching the Scriptures is found in James who reminds us: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3).
Many Christians also think that because they end their prayer with “in Jesus’ name” that they have the ability to somehow control the process by which these things come to pass. We need to understand that to pray in Jesus’ name means that we accept what God wants for our lives, which is the process by which the Father brings matters to be. Praying in the name of the Son of God is in surrender to His will and to the authority given to that name.
Jesus is teaching us here that like Himself, we need to pray so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. It is to this end that Jesus as our High Priest will do everything we ask in His name. Every answer to prayer He gives will have this as its object. Our Savior taught us that we should pray: “your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
Our prayers need to reflect petitions that will honor and bring glory to His holy name and require that we:
- Pray with a clean heart and for the right reasons: “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” – Psalm 66:18
- Pray in the Jesus’ name and according to His will: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” – 1 John 5:14
- Pray in faith: “If you have faith and do not doubt … it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” – Matthew 21:21-22
True prayer is born when the work of grace manifests a new desire in the soul and self becomes crucified. When everything of self is cut off and we are totally surrendered to the authority of Christ, and the glory of the Father being the aim of our prayer.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)